This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition head and neck cancer
Treatment imrt
Phase phase 1/phase 2
Sponsor Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Start date July 2007
End date September 2010
Trial size 19 participants
Trial identifier NCT02112344, CCR 2823


Squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary (SCCUP) site metastatic to cervical lymph nodes at presentation is a relatively rare entity forming about 2% of all head and neck carcinomas.

Typically patients are treated with ipsilateral modified radical neck dissection (MRND) and post-operative radiotherapy (PORT) or chemoradiotherapy.

There is a lack of consensus on the radiotherapy target volumes that should be treated after neck dissection. The most common radiotherapy techniques are either unilateral cervical lymph node irradiation to achieve local control in the ipsilateral neck or TMI of the head and neck region with the aim of eradicating the primary and the microscopic neck disease.

Treatment of the ipsilateral hemi-neck alone is of low toxicity and may achieve local control in the cervical nodes. Potential occult primary sites in the head and neck mucosa, and any sub-clinical metastatic disease in the contralateral side of the neck are left untreated. If a primary tumour subsequently becomes apparent the previous radiotherapy may make further radiotherapy difficult to deliver.

Some groups recommend bilateral neck and total mucosal irradiation in this setting claiming improved local control. With conventional radiotherapy technique this is at the price of significant acute toxicity and chronic morbidity, mainly xerostomia with its associated complications and effects on quality of life (QOL).

Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has been shown to reduce the dose to salivary gland tissue and consequently may reduce the incidence of xerostomia and improve quality of life (QOL) in head and neck cancer patients.

An analysis of parotid-sparing IMRT at the University of Michigan established a mean dose threshold for both stimulated (26 Gy), and unstimulated (24 Gy) saliva flow rates. For the same end-point (less than 25% of flow at baseline one year post radiation) Roesink et al established a TD50 of 39 Gy.

The investigators performed a planning study to assess the feasibility of IMRT to spare the parotid gland while delivering bilateral neck and TMI. The mean dose to the contralateral parotid gland using IMRT was below the threshold of 24 Gy for unstimulated salivary flow, predicting a fairly low risk of radiation induced xerostomia. The mean dose to the ipsilateral parotid gland was 32 Gy which was below the TD50 dose based on the Roesink data.

This study assesses the safety and tolerability of delivering IMRT in clinical practice to treat patients with SCCUP of the head and neck region, who require bilateral neck and pan-mucosal irradiation.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Endpoint classification safety/efficacy study
Intervention model single group assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose treatment

Primary Outcomes

Feasibility of delivering IMRT
time frame: 7 weeks after starting radiotherapy

Secondary Outcomes

Incidence of acute dermatitis
time frame: 3 months after RT
Incidence of >grade 1 late xerostomia
time frame: 5 years
Number of patients who do not relapse at the local site
time frame: 5 years
Overall survival
time frame: 5 years
Incidence of acute alopecia
time frame: 3 months after RT
Incidence of >grade 1 acute dysphagia
time frame: 3 months after RT
Incidence of > grade 1 acute mucositis
time frame: 3 months after RT
Incidence of acute radiation induced pain
time frame: 3 months after RT
Incidence of >grade 1 acute xerostomia
time frame: 3 months after RT
Incidence of acute radiation induced fatigue
time frame: 3 months after RT
Incidence of > grade 1 late dysphagia
time frame: 5 years after RT
Incidence of late oesophageal stricture
time frame: 5 years after RT
Incidence of >grade 1 late hoarse voice
time frame: 5 years after RT
Incidence of late radiation induced neurological dysfunction
time frame: 5 years
Incidence of >grade1 late skin toxicity
time frame: 5 years after RT

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants at least 18 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: 1. Squamous cell carcinomas metastatic to cervical lymph node with occult primary requiring bilateral neck and pan mucosal irradiation. 2. Radiotherapy either as primary therapy or post-operative (adjuvant irradiation). 3. Neoadjuvant and concomitant chemotherapy are permitted. 4. All patients must be suitable to attend regular follow-up and undergo toxicity assessment. 5. Stage T0, N1-3, M0 disease 6. WHO Performance Status 0-1. 7. Patient should have a negative PET/CT scan for a primary tumour. Exclusion Criteria: 1. Previous radiotherapy to the head and neck region 2. Previous malignancy except non-melanoma skin cancer 3. Previous or concurrent illness which in the investigators opinion would interfere with either completion of therapy or follow-up 4. Prophylactic use of amifostine or pilocarpine is not allowed 5. Brachytherapy is not allowed as part of the treatment

Additional Information

Official title A Phase I Study of Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy in Patients With Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Unknown Primary (SCCUP) of the Head and Neck
Principal investigator Christopher M Nutting, PhD
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in April 2014.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.